Tibi by Fola
'El Profesor Pistacho'.

Geoffrey Edward Foladori was a pioneer of Uruguayan comics, who mainly worked under the pen name Fola. Between 1931 to 1993, many of his features were published throughout the South American countries. His best-known and longest-running creations are the kids' comic 'Pelopincho y Cachirula' (1952) and the pantomime comic strip 'Don Gumersindo' (known as 'Mr. Whiskers' in the English-language world, 1965). His early work showed influences from the American newspaper comics by Frederick Burr Opper, Rudolph Dirks, Lyonel Feininger, Sidney Smith, Cliff Sterrett and Billy DeBeck, and also from Argentinian grandmaster Dante Quinterno. In his later work, his style developed and he began to experiment more with his narrative and timing. In Fola's comic strips, the joke or punchline is sometimes in the center of the page.

Don Gumersindo
'Don Gumersindo'.

Early life and career
Foladori was born in 1908 in Croydon, England, as the son of an Uruguayan father and British mother. After his mother had passed away from the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, Geoffrey and his father moved to Montevideo, Uruguay. Geoffrey Foladori lost an eye in his early twenties, which explains  why he wore sunglasses in most photos. A self-taught artist, he began his collaboration with Mundo Uruguayo in 1931. He worked for this magazine for 32 years, producing series like 'Don Tranquilo y Flia' and 'Ciengramos y Viola'. His comic strips also ran in the newspaper El Diario from 1938 to 1963.

Don Tranquilo y Flia by Fola
'Don Tranquilo y Flía'.

BP Color
For BP Color, Foladori created features like 'El Profesor Pistacho' and 'Don Gumersindo' in 1965. The latter comic strip ran in syndication for 45 years. 'Don Gumersindo' stars a small man with a big, white busy moustache. In Spain his pantomime gags were translated under the title 'Bigotini' by publishing company Bruguera. In English the series ran under the title 'G. Whiskers' and in French as 'Mr. Moustache'. 

From 1952 throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Foladori was a regular in the Argentinian children's weekly Billiken with 'Pelopincho y Cachirula', which was in fact his earlier children's comic, 'Ciengramos y Viola', under a different title. This series about a clumsy and an irascible kid were also published in the children's magazines Anteojito (Argentina), Petete (Argentina) and Nicolas (Spain).

Pelopincho, by Fola
'Pelopincho y Cachirula'.

Later life and death
Fola's cartoon features 'Casos y Cosas', 'Divúlguelo' and 'Las Siete Diferencias' were distributed through the United Press syndicate to papers like La Razón from Buenos Aires, El Nacional from Caracas, La Opinión from Torreón, Manila Times from Manila, El Tiempo from Bogotá, El Porvenir from Monterrey, La Prensa from San Salvador, El Dictamen from Veracruz. El Imparcial from Guatemala, El Caribe from Santo Domingo and La Estrella from Valparaíso. He passed away in 1997, at age 88. 

A compilation of Geoffrey Foladori's most memorable comics was published under the title 'Fola: El Hombre Que Fue Una Biblioteca' at the occasion of the 2014 Montevideo comic festival. The book was edited by Matías Castró, and all comics were digitally restored by Diego Jourdan.

Tibi by Fola
Tibi by Fola
'El Profesor Pistacho' was published in Québec under the title 'Tibi'.

Series and books by Geoffrey Foladori you can order today:


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